Yes it happens you lose donors, but why you lose them is important to understand – is it that you have simply forgotten to acknowledge them, forgotten to include them in updates about the work you are undertaking ?

Sure, not all donors may want to know every detail of your work, on the other hand some will want to know everything. Yes, in the main donors do want some form of update or somehow know that the support they are giving is making a difference.

How you go about letting people know is important and some planning needs to go into this – a blanket thank you letter can do it, but there is a risk that over doing these can have the potential to turn some donors off.

How you go about identifying those not wanting a lot of updates and, those wanting monthly or quarterly updates can be a challenge, but it needn’t be.

When someone first starts supporting you, you get their contact information, you could look at including a line on the ‘subscription form’ that asks how often people want to be supported – and also ask at the same time, how they want to be contacted. Not everyone wants to receive a letter, some will be quite happy with an email update, others my be equally happy to know when you’ve added an update to your website or FaceBook.

Another thing that asking donors how they want updates is that it will enable you to still be in contact with them, and remind them about their support, the work you’re doing even after the move addresses (which we all know causes loss of donors) you may have their email email address to contact them, you may have also be able to contact them, via private message, on FaceBook to regain contact.

Something else that you need to pay attention to is that donors don’t want or like to hear endless “bragging” – “boasting”; updates that only talk about how good the organization is, and how much the organization has done in achieving it’s goals. It’s important, no matter whether donors only want infrequent updates, or they want more frequent updates – is to ensure that the talk about the importance of the donor – how it is the donor that has helped make the achievements possible.

How are you keeping your donors in the loop, are you minimizing the risk of losing donors through giving them the wrong information at the wrong frequency – is it time for you to be checking and changing?

If you’ve changed your way of informing donors please share your story.

Something I’ve been pondering since spending time with a group of college students who are eager to get involved in their community, is who inspires who in the family.

Sure some youth will learn about being part of the community, assisting others, through their parents, church or other group.

Some, will start helping when a family member, friend or relation becomes ill and needs support.

But if we forget about immediate connections that may spark the flame to get youth involved; have you every had a discussion with your children about how they might like to help others in the community? Or, have you, as I’ve heard recently, been inspired to help through hearing stories from their children.

Whichever way it is – would you consider sitting down with your children to talk about giving – not just financially but through volunteering in the community?

What do you think the reaction would be in your house, if tonight you were to sit down as a family and talk about how everyone might like to do something in the community?

Some ideas worth considering:

Having chats as a family about issues in the media, hear what excites, what annoys and what upsets. This could open up further talks about how you could help make a difference, to support the issues you have talked about.

Talk with you children about why you give. What inspires/motivates you to support organisations.

Talk about how lucky you are as a family to enjoy the things you have, the ability you have to do activities and how others in the world don’t have the opportunities.

As a family visit a local organization, see first hand what the organization does and how this benefits others. Select a time of year when as a family you sort through unwanted items and donate them to a cause in your community.

At Christmas or another time of year make a family pledge to give to a community group, have your children select who to give to, why and what to give.

These are just some ideas, there’s plenty more – if you have inspired your children to give, or your children have inspired to give – how did this come about, please share your stories in the comments below.